Expert Recommendation

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Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Action Photos Under $750
Expert (88 Recommendations and 32 Compliments)
Send a ComplimentComplimented (Change)
June 3, 2007 Updated: November 5, 2007
Overview

Equipped with a twin zoom lens kit, effectively covering a 10.7x zoom range, the Olympus E500 offers great image quality and supports a wide-angle view for taking photos of landscapes and interiors. The camera’s snappy performance, fast focusing and long reach helps freeze the action from a safe distance. Its optical viewfinder makes it easier to follow fast-moving sports action. The camera has an Auto Mode with lots of Scene Modes for easy operation by novice users. For advanced users, the camera offers manual modes, supports a Raw file format, and provides a Hot Shoe for mounting external flashes.

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My Best In Class Pick
Olympus EVOLT E-500 (with 14-45mm and 40-150mm Lenses)

Both cameras have good image quality and offer an Auto Mode plus a lot of Scene Modes for novice users. Experienced photographers will find the Aperture Priority and Shutter Priority manual modes useful. They are also both very responsive, have a great Continuous Shooting Mode for action photography, and have optical viewfinders.

The Olympus E-500, with a much larger sensor, easily outperforms the Canon G7 on image quality at higher ISOs (useful for choosing higher shutter speeds for freezing the action). It also has lower full-press shutter lag, better continuous shooting and shot-to-shot speed, and longer battery life. Its higher dynamic range is also helpful in to avoid overexposed areas. With the twin-kit lens price of less than $600, the camera is an unbeatable value for the money. You may use the first lens while traveling (for wider views) and the second for action photography (larger reach). The Olympus E-500 is my Top Pick.

Olympus EVOLT E-500 (with 14-45mm and 40-150mm Lenses) is the Best Point and Shoot Digital Camera for Travel and Action Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Olympus EVOLT E-500 (with 14-45mm and 40-150mm Lenses)
Specifications
  • Zoom: 10.7x
  • Resolution: 8.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.4 sec
  • Burst Speed: 2.6 fps
  • Size: 5.1 x 3.7 x 2.6 in.
  • Battery Life: 400 shots
  • Easy to Use: No
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (5 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com
2
Canon PowerShot G7

The PowerShot G7 is Canon’s top of the line compact camera. It has a 10 megapixel resolution sensor, 6x optical zoom lens (equivalent to 35-210mm on a 35mm camera), and good high ISO performance. The ISO rating goes up to 1600 (3200 is available but at a resolution of only 2 million pixels). It has an optical viewfinder and runs on a proprietary battery.

The G7 has a start-up time of 1.4 seconds and a pre-focus shutter lag (half-press to full-press of shutter button) of 0.05 seconds. The full-press shutter lag (without pre-focusing) is 0.70 seconds. In the Continuous Shooting Mode, the camera can take 2.0 pictures/second until the memory card fills up. The shot-to-shot speed is 1.7 seconds (without a flash). The maximum usable aperture at maximum zoom (i.e. tele-photo end) is f4.8 (the lower the value, the wider the lens aperture, meaning more light gathering ability). It has a face-detection feature (camera automatically detects up to nine faces within a frame and sets the optimum focus and exposure accordingly) and full manual controls (e.g. aperture priority, shutter priority, etc.) for additional versatility. The battery life is approximately 220 shots/charge (500 shots with LCD off). It supports wide-angle and tele-photo conversion lenses, which are available separately as accessories. It also has an Image Stabilization feature to help avoid blurry pictures because of camera shake.

The camera received a Highly Recommended rating at Digital Photography Review (a popular digital camera review site) and was a Top Pick at Imaging Resource (another popular camera review site).

Canon PowerShot G7 is one of the Best Point and Shoot Digital Cameras for Travel and Action Photos Under $750
Where to buy
Canon PowerShot G7
Specifications
  • Zoom: 6.0x
  • Resolution: 10.0MP
  • AF Shutter Lag: 0.5 - 0.6s
  • Burst Speed: 1.6 fps
  • Size: 4.2 x 2.8 x 1.7 in.
  • Battery Life: 500 shots
  • Easy to Use: Yes
More
Want More Opinions? See:
Website Reviews (6 reviews)
  • Highly Recommended at DPReview.com
  • Dave's Pick at Imaging-Resource.com
  • Rated Very Good by CNET.com

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